Nicola Sturgeon has defended her decision to introduce tough coronavirus restrictions.

On Tuesday, the First Minister introduced measures including a ban on household gatherings and a curfew for hospitality venues in a bid to curb the rising spread of coronavirus. 

Ms Sturgeon accepted the new restrictions were “tough” and said they had not been introduced lightly.

Warning that “we are again at a tipping point with Covid”, Ms Sturgeon added: “If we don’t act now, urgently and decisively, then we might find Covid running out of control again.

“The judgment I have made, and it is not an easy one, is if we take tough action now we might actually manage to be under these restrictions for a shorter period of time then we would end up being if we delayed that action.

So what can we do during lockdown? And what is still restricted?

Meeting friends and family: Indoors in homes

From Wednesday, you cannot visit any other household or have anyone from another household within your home. 

The rules apply to children.

There are exemptions for this:​

  • People living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households.
  • Couples who don’t live together.
  • Children whose parents do not live in the same household.
  • ‘Limited’ exemptions for childcare, including from grandparents.
  • Tradespeople.

Police Scotland have powers to impose fines for those breaking the rules.

They can issue you with a fixed penalty notice for £60 (reduced to £30 if paid within 28 days). 

If a person has already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount will increase to £120 and double on each further repeat offence up to a maximum of £960.

Meeting friends and family: Private gardens or public outdoor spaces

From Wednesday, a maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces.

The Scottish Government says you should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day.

Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance.

A maximum of six 12 to 17-year-olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required.

Meeting friends and families indoors: Public spaces​

From Wednesday, September 23, a maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants.

Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits.

Visiting pubs, restaurants and bars

From Friday, September 25, pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm.

Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises.

Face coverings are also required to be worn when not eating and drinking.

Customers are also required to provide contact details for Test and Protect purposes.

Irvine Times:

Car sharing

The Scottish Government says you should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative.


You must continue to work from home where practicable.

Stadiums/theatres/soft play

Live music venues, theatres, sport stadiums and soft play facilities were set to resume from October 5 at the earliest - but are now "unlikely to go ahead".

The First Minister said: "In light of the current situation, that the routemap changes with an indicative date of 5 October are unlikely to go ahead on that timescale."

Weddings and funerals

The Scottish Government advice remains that no more than 20 people (including the couple, witnesses and guests) should attend weddings. This limit is also extended to receptions taking place in a hospitality venue, such as a hotel - provided the venue's capacity allows for physical distancing.

The same limits apply for funerals, with physical distancing between households required. This restriction of 20 people is extended to wakes, in similar appopriate venues.

Shopping/non-essential retail 

Non-essential shops, hairdressers and barbers will remain open.

Other personal retail services can also remain open, including spas, tattoo parlours, nail bars and massage therapists.

When visiting a shop, you must wear a face covering. 


The advice for people shielding remains to follow the same guidance as the rest of the population.

Irvine Times:

These nationwide restrictions will be reviewed within three weeks and further guidance will made available where necessary.

Commenting on the news, the First Minister said: “It is worth stressing that because of the collective sacrifices we all made to drive infection levels down over the summer, the growth in cases is from a low base and – at this stage – far less rapid than in March. 

“I want to thank the people of Scotland for their cooperation, forbearance and the sacrifices they have made – but these measures are essential in ensuring we do not let this virus get out of control again.

“While these measures are tough, we believe they can make a significant difference while keeping our schools, public services and as many businesses open as far as possible.

“Early data suggests that restrictions currently in place in west central Scotland are starting to slow the increase of cases. 

“So by extending household restrictions nationwide now, in an early and preventative way, we hope it will help to bring the R number down and the virus back under control.”

Full guidance can be found on the Scottish Government website.